best apartment dogs

When it comes to the best dog breeds for apartments, we have to lead with a disclaimer: just about any breed – or a wonderful “Heinz 57” mutt from the pound – can make a great apartment dog, but there are certain breeds that, traditionally, do well in multifamily living environments.

Think about it: apartment living means often being able to hear our neighbors more than we would in a single-family home setting, so while you might want a watchdog of sorts, a hellacious barker is not a great option. And while some apartment dwellers lead a highly active lifestyle that give their dog lots of exercise, you may not be so committed in that department.

So here’s a list of some of the best apartment dogs if you’re considering adding a furry roommate to your apartment life.


These adorable little “hot dogs” are expert snugglers who love burrowing beneath blankets and cuddling up to their loved ones. The smallest of the hound breeds, they do enjoy a good run – but the bonus here is that with legs just a few inches long, you can give them all the toy-fetching exercise they need right in the house!

Bichon Frise

Fluffy, French and altogether fashionable in appearance, Bichons shed very little, though they will need regular grooming to stay kempt. Energetic, loving and bright, the Bichon makes a wonderful companion. While they do enjoy a walk, they’re happy to be little movie-watching couch potatoes, as well.

Chinese Crested

These interesting-looking little love dogs come in a powderpuff and hairless variety. The hairless are very easy to maintain, as you might imagine – though they can get cold and should own a few sweaters! Weighing up to 12 pounds, they of course need regular walks but don’t require a large amount of exercise and do very well in apartments.

Related: Top 10 Dog Names

Miniature Pinscher

These dogs are like giant Dobermans that have been hit with a shrink ray! Miniature Pinschers (or Min-Pins, as they are often called) have a similar appearance to the Doberman, but are actually a distinct and older breed. Standing roughly 10”-12” tall at the shoulder, these tiny titans average out to about 11 pounds, and make wonderful watchdogs, as they’re alert and suspicious. Also adorable.

Related:  How to Keep a Dog Happy and Healthy in a Small Apartment

Shiba Inu

Are you an experienced dog owner who loves taking your dog out for exercise? If so, the foxy-looking Shiba, which hails from Japan, often makes one of the best apartment dogs! Shibas have lots of energy, so if running – either in tandem or turning your pup loose at the dog park – on a daily basis sounds like you, this is definitely a breed to consider.

See Also: Dog-Friendly Apartments …. What you Need to Know


We know. You’re probably thinking, ‘How can these dogs – with their racing backgrounds – be one of the best dog breeds for apartments?!’ But they are! Long, lanky and content to be lazy, the only thing greyhounds may demand of you is more couch space. They actually need very little exercise or grooming, and they’re wonderfully easygoing and quickly trained. What’s more, greyhounds are plentiful in rescues nationwide, and thus affordable to obatin.

Hot Tip: The most difficult part about greyhounds and apartments might be a weight restriction, so check on that before visiting your local rescue.


Want a true couch potato? These wrinkly little lovers may not look like lap dogs, but as far as they’re concerned, they definitely are. Quiet, friendly and loving, bulldogs enjoy a good romp, but they’re fairly low-energy and very content loafing about with their loved ones . . . and a cozy apartment would suit just fine.

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About The Author

A.D. Thompson has been a journalist and editor for more than 25 years, and a mother for 13. She cannot believe how old that sentence makes her sound. A.D. is a consumer of both coffee and wine, and a veteran Odyssey of the Mind coach for both of her daughters’ teams. Her family happily resides in an Orlando apartment community. She is the Orlando Expert for USA Today 10Best and has worked with regional publications including Orlando Signature, Edible Orlando and the Orlando Sentinel.